Thoughts from my own inquiry…

A random tweet takes me to Smarthistory, a treasure trove of podcasts and screen-casts of conversations around works of art. I find myself drawn into an exploration of the site and totally lose track of time. 

I share the site with Clive, a friend who happens to be online at the time, and he chooses to search for Pissarro, his favourite artist. He asks if I knew that Pissarro painted one of his daughters just before she died and never finished the painting. Intrigued by the story, I go off in search of more information

Along the way, I uncover this interesting piece on how the Impressionists got their name. I love Impressionist paintings and was lucky enough to visit Musee d’Orsay in Paris a few years ago, but I have never studied art history and confess my knowledge is somewhat limited. So I’m enjoying this personal inquiry and it keeps me up late.

In the morning I find some tweets from Clive with links to more information. His curiosity has been sparked too and he plans to return to the Ashmolean Museum where he first saw Pissarro’s work to see what else he can uncover. Apparently during the 1950s and 1960s, this museum became a centre for the study of Impressionism, thanks to the donation of the Pissarro family collection, comprising paintings, prints, drawings, books, and letters by members of the Pissarro family.

I share my latest discovery with Clive, a video of a talk on Pissarro’s life and works. I watch it slowly, when I have the time, and learn about Pissarro’s influence on the more famous Impressionists. The speaker says of the artist…”What a real talent it is to find in a teacher someone who can learn from his students.” Indeed.

At some point I realise I have forgotten about the daughter entirely. I’ll wait to see what Clive comes back with. I’m an inquirer. Clive’s an inquirer. It seems Pissarro was an inquirer. How do we ignite the curiosity of our students so that they will be inquirers too?

Some reflections to take back to school…

Oh wait. I knew all of that already. A couple of them are even learning principles of my school! I often express these very points to teachers, when we’re planning units of inquiry. So, it’s interesting and validating to analyse my own learning (and Pissaro’s!) in terms of my stated beliefs.

About whatedsaid

Teaching and Learning Coordinator at an IB PYP school in Melbourne, Australia. I'm a teacher, a learner, an inquirer...
This entry was posted in Inquiry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Thoughts from my own inquiry…

  1. efhurley says:

    This is wonderful. Inquiry is organic!



  2. whatedsaid says:

    Thanks, Eileen. Looking forward to a post from you soon!


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